2002-2006 Mini Cooper S (R53)
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Picking up a used Mini- Things to consider

Old 01-18-2016, 05:27 PM
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Default Picking up a used Mini- Things to consider

I will most likely be purchasing a used 2005 S tomorrow however I am rather new to the Mini world. This car has roughly 145k on the ticker. Unfortunately I've read several complaints regarding some mechanical issues that appear to be relatively common, this is a bit of concern.

I consider myself fairly well mechanically inclined, having installed motors transmission etc in project cars. Although I realize that Mini's are quite unique in their engineering I would still expect to be able to service the vehicle myself- the more concerning part would be the expense.

Ok. So I ran across some good info on the net and it seems the majority of those issues deal with the strut towers, timing chain, clutch, supercharger rebuild, water and power steering pumps. While it seems the previous owner performed typical maintenance there could certainly be problems around the corner. Any suggestions on what to look for when checking it out would be appreciated!

Last edited by Infinite1; 01-18-2016 at 05:29 PM.
Old 03-30-2016, 11:31 PM
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This thread is a little old, but sux the OP got no response, so here goes:
Premature failure items are the lower control arm bushings and the vibration damper/crank pulley. Other stuff does fail, but is a crap shoot as to when depending on the car and its maintenance history. Things like the s/c, belt tensioner, p/s pump, timing chain tensioner go in this category. 145k is kinda high if the car hasnt been well maintained. I bought a well taken care of car with under 100k, jumped into maintenance immediately to make sure all was good: synthetic in the motor and trans, new s/c oil, new belt. Since then, have changed p/s fluid and hoses, brake fluid, brakes as was needed, and will do the chain tensioner and guides when i get to doing a planned cam upgrade even though these items havent failed. The car already had a new crank pulley. Clutches normally need to be done at 125 to 150k; some last much longer, some fail sooner. Same with the timing chain tensioner, p/s pump, water pump (im stiill on my original ones here).
So that is the deal with MINIs: get an 05 or 06 in good shape, maybe an 04, and take care of it. if you're handy with a wrench, the maint isnt that big a deal. you will end up with one of the funnest cars you will ever own.

Last edited by CaptnAmerica; 03-31-2016 at 09:40 AM.
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